Premier League Preview: Manchester City - Wigan
The hosts will be hoping to continue their fantastic start to the season and follow up on their mauling of Spurs as they host an improving Latics outfit at the Etihad Stadium
By Jonathan Birchall
Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy
Barry, Yaya Toure
Silva, Nasri, Aguero
Boyce, Caldwell, Lopez, Figueroa
Moses, Gomez, Diame, McCarthy, Crusat
Samir Nasri is set to make his home debut for Manchester City despite having picked up a suspected broken finger on international duty with France and Micah Richards, who left the England squad after complaining about a tight hamstring, is also expected to get the nod from Roberto Mancini.
Nigel De Jong, on the other hand, may not be risked in the centre of midfield after he pulled out of international duty with the Netherlands due to an ankle knock.
Wigan will travel to the Etihad Stadium with a fairly clean bill of health, with only long-term absentees Steve Gohouri and Antolin Alcaraz unavailable for selection. Roberto Martinez may exercise caution and opt for a five-man midfield and therefore leave Franco Di Santo and new boy Shaun Maloney on the bench.
Alcaraz's injury may open the door for Patrick van Aanholt to make his Latics bow but with the Spanish manager having spoken of his desire to ease the Chelsea loanee into the team slowly, Adrian Lopea is more likely to start in the centre of defence. The visiting fans may well see a debutant start, however, with former Almeria winger Albert Crusat fit to take up position on the left wing.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Manchester City have picked up nine points from a possible nine in their opening three games of the season.
- The Etihad Stadium outfit have scored 12 goals in their Premier League fixtures so far, four times as many than at the same point last season.
- After conceding only 33 goals in the 2010-11 campaign, the Citizens had the joint strongest defensive record in the league, alongside Chelsea.
- With six goals in three games, Edin Dzeko (right) is the Premier League's leading scorer.
- Roberto Mancini's men had the best record in the league against teams in the bottom half in the 2010-11 season.
- In contrast, Wigan had the worst record against sides in the top half of the league over the last campaign.
- Roberto Martinez's side have made their best ever Premier League start and are currently unbeaten in the first three games.
- The Latics scored the second fewest amount of goals in the Premier League last season with 40 and never entered the top half at any point over the campaign.
- The visitors have failed to score against City in the league since October 2009.
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Top 3 Predictions
Manchester City FC 3-0 Wigan Athletic
- 20.29 %
Manchester City FC 4-0 Wigan Athletic
- 17.45 %
Manchester City FC 3-1 Wigan Athletic
- 16.59 %
|England - FA Cup (FA)||Mar 9, 2014||Manchester City FC 1 - Wigan Athletic 2|
|England - Capital One Cup(League Cup) (CCUP)||Sep 24, 2013||Manchester City FC 5 - Wigan Athletic 0|
|England - FA Cup (FA)||May 11, 2013||Manchester City FC 0 - Wigan Athletic 1|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Apr 17, 2013||Manchester City FC 1 - Wigan Athletic 0|
|England - Premier League (EPL)||Nov 28, 2012||Wigan Athletic 0 - Manchester City FC 2|
|Manchester City FC|
|Apr 16, 2014||Manchester City FC 2 - Sunderland 2||EPL|
|Apr 13, 2014||Liverpool 3 - Manchester City FC 2||EPL|
|Apr 5, 2014||Manchester City FC 4 - Southampton 1||EPL|
|Mar 29, 2014||Arsenal 1 - Manchester City FC 1||EPL|
|Mar 25, 2014||Man Utd. 0 - Manchester City FC 3||EPL|
|26||Ali Al Habsi||Goalkeeper|
|9||Franco Di Santo||Striker|
Coupling brute force with an instinctive eye for goal, the 25-year-old is a nightmare for opposition defenders and with the likes of Kun Aguero, David Silva and Samir Nasri all looking to provide him with chances, the Latics backline could be in for a very busy afternoon in trying to suppress the Premier League's top scorer.
Questions remain over Gael Clichy's defensive capabilities and the former Crystal Palace man will look to use his explosive pace and dazzling close control to attack the Frenchman down the channel. If the Latics catch their hosts on the break, Moses could cause some serious damage.
With a newfound sense of attacking endeavour in the team providing stark contrast to the often negative displays of 2010-11, the hosts will be looking to dominate at home .
However, there is also a renewed sense of optimism amongst a Latics side that are still unbeaten so far this term and Martinez will look to take the game to their illustrious opponents.
That said, City should be far too powerful for the DW Stadium outfit and won’t hold back when exerting their supremacy. For the visitors, it could be a case of desperately trying to save face.